October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

Canadian Think Tank Closes its Doors

The Canadian Policy of Research Networks (CPRN) has released an article discussing the importance of non-profit and charitable organizations, particularly for providing a significant portion of employment in Canada. Non-profit and charitable organizations employ 11 times more people than the automotive industry, while contributing as much to the GDP as other major sectors of the economy. Despite their importance, Canada is lagging behind other countries in supporting these organizations.

This article was published just prior to the CPRN’s announcement today to close the independent public policy think tank down due to lack of long term funding. The CPRN is an internationally recognized organization, having worked extensively in the areas of social innovation, citizenship, diversity and Canadian values, productivity and skills, health, and the environment.

Article, October 22, 2009 (2 pages, PDF)

Press Release, “Leading Canadian Think Tank Closes Its Doors,” October 26, 2009 (2 pages, PDF)


The Economist’s Executive Compensation Debate

The assertion: This house believes that on the whole, senior executives are worth what they are paid.
The topic is hot and for very good reasons – join the Economist Debates online forum. “HOW OXFORD STYLE DEBATES WORK: Economist Debates adapt the Oxford style of debating to an online forum. The format was made famous by the 186-year-old Oxford Union and has been practiced by heads of state, prominent intellectuals and galvanizing figures from across the cultural spectrum. It revolves around an assertion that is defended on one side (the "proposer") and assailed on another (the "opposition") in a contest hosted and overseen by a moderator. Each side has three chances to persuade readers: opening, rebuttal and closing.”

The proposer is Steven N. Kaplan, Neubauer Family Prof. of Entrepreneurship & Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The opposition is Nell Minow Editor and Co-founder, The Corporate Library. Features guests that comment on the debate are: Professor Rakesh Khurana, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development and on Tuesday October 27th, Edward E. Lawler III, Director, Center for Effective Organizations, Marshall School of Business, USC.

Economist.com, Tuesday October 27, 2009 http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/156

Featured Guest Edward E. Lawler III


Say on Pay Comes to Canadian Banks

Shareholders of nine of Canada’s largest financial services companies have decided to give shareholders’ a vote on executive compensation. For companies adopting Say on Pay, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance has prepared a model policy to provide guidance to boards: on their engagement with shareholders, expected disclosure on their approach to executive compensation, a recommended form of the advisory resolution and what should be done with the results of the vote.

Globe and Mail, October 26, 2009: Banks go for uniformity with say-on-pay votes by Janet McFarland and Susan Krashinsky

Draft Model Say on Pay Policy for Boards of Directors - October 22, 2009 (5 pages, PDF)


The Conference Board (New York) Task Force on Executive Compensation

The full set of guiding principles and recommendations for compensation practices is outlined in the report, The Conference Board Task Force on Executive Compensation. The Guiding Principles state that public companies should:

Establish a clear link between pay, strategy and performance; 
Provide compensation that is fair, affordable and clearly aligned with actual performance; 
Eliminate controversial compensation practices that conflict with the notions of fairness and pay for performance – such as excessive golden parachutes, overly generous severance arrangements, gross-ups of parachute payments or perquisites, and golden coffins – unless specific justification exists; 
Demonstrate credible board oversight of executive compensation; and 
Foster transparency with respect to compensation practices and appropriate dialogue between boards and shareholders.

Press release, September 21, 2009

Report, September 21, 2009 (39 pages, PDF)


Human Capital Planning for 2010

Mercer has released a report that discusses human capital planning for 2010. The report provides solutions and a strategic framework for assessing an organization’s unique human capital needs, while also presenting human capital strategies to best support business goals.

Download the report (8 pages, PDF) from the Human Capital Planning Website.


Mergers & Acquisitions – HR’s Pivotal Role

Towers Perrin has recently released a report detailing the importance of HR in a merger and acquisition transaction. Using a scenario as its base, the report discusses why it takes more than just numbers to make a deal work – this includes an analysis of the role of HR professionals should take in the transaction, and the markers of success.

Report, October 22, 2009 (4 pages, PDF)


Voluntary Benefit Options

Surveys by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and Mercer have found that employers are offering voluntary benefit options to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Hewitt Associates found an increase inflexible benefit programs as well as an increase in options for employees.

Benefits Canada, October 22, 2009: Employers offering increased benefits choices

Society for Human Resource Management, October 26, 2009Voluntary Benefits Poised to Increase: Surveys look at optional benefits provided by U.S. and global employers

Mercer, October 22, 2009: Survey finds increasing trend to offer benefit choices to employees UK London, 22 October 2009

Hewitt Associates, October 11, 2009: Hewitt Survey Indicates Offering Employees Benefit Plan Choice is Strategic Imperative for Canadian Organizations


Conference Board HR Summit October 2009

“The immediate challenges for HR leaders in today’s volatile business climate include “right-sizing” and rationalization to control costs.” This Conference e-Proceeding includes presentations by VP’s from: WestJet Airlines, IBM, Bank of Montreal, Delta Hotels, Hudson Bay, Fuse Marketing Group and York Regional Police. HR strategies, that can increase organizational agility, improve employee performance by protecting top talent and skills, build trust and responsible management, reduce costs, improve communications, and integrate new technology, are featured.

HR Summit 2009: Building Organizational Resilience and Sustainability: Conference e-Proceedings by The Conference Board of Canada: Available to the University of Toronto community by creating a Conference Board of Canada e-Library account.


Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

For the first time, the Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index presents an approach to objectively compare the retirement income systems in eleven countries spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. The countries included in this study are: Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and USA. The index value for Canada was 73.2 placing fourth after the Netherlands, Australia and Sweden.

Press release, October 14, 2009

Report, October 14, 2009(64 pages, PDF)

Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - Canada


A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, By Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress, has been released. The report looks at how women’s increasing representation in the American workforce, now reaching 50%, is changing the relationships men, women, and their families. The need for more flexible work schedules, comprehensive child care policies, redesigned family and medical leave, and equal pay is identified. Research is provided by academics and experts the epilogue is by Oprah Winfrey.

Press release, October 16, 2009: The Battle of the Sexes is over. Now it’s Negotiations Between the Sexes – about work, family, household responsibilities, childcare, and eldercare.

Shriver Report webpage

Executive summary

Report, October 16, 2009 (454 pages, PDF)

Reality Check: What's Wrong With This Picture?, The Huffington Post, October 22, 2009: Ilene H. Lang, Catalyst's President & Chief Executive Officer ponders the Shriver Report's call for the workplace to catch up with the realities for today's workers and asks in this blog, why not women in leadership?


Changes in Parental Work Time and Earnings

The article, "Changes in Parental Work Time and Earnings," published in the October 2009 online edition ofPerspectives on Labour and Income uses census data to examine changes in parental work hours among families with children. The study found that between 1980 and 2005, the proportion of families with two parents working on a full-time more than doubled from 15% to 32%, mostly because of the rising labour market participation of mothers. Over the same period, the proportion of single mothers working full-time rose from 43% to 51%.

Highlights, October 23, 2009

Article, October 23, 2009 (12 pages, PDF)


Work–life Balance of Older Workers

The article, “Work–life Balance of Older Workers, “published in the October 2009 online edition of Perspectives on Labour and Income, found that 14% of Canadian workers age 55 and over reported being dissatisfied with their work–life balance in 2005. The sources of conflict were too much time on the job and too little time for the family. Work–life balance dissatisfaction was associated with having a disability, providing elder care, working long hours, occupying a managerial position and being a woman. At the same time, having an employed partner, being self-employed and enjoying one’s job reduced the probability of work–life conflict.

Highlights, October 23, 2009

Article, October 23, 2009 (12 pages, PDF)


University Enrolment Up Across Canada

“This year there are an additional 38,000 full-time students enrolled in universities across Canada compared to last fall. As a result, there are about 870,000 full-time students enrolled in universities -- 733,500 in undergraduate programs and 136,500 in graduate programs – an increase of 29,000 and 9,000 students respectively.” As well as increasing university enrollment the cost of a university education is rising as well.

Media release, October 22, 2009: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada,

Statistics Enrolment - Full-time students: 2009 preliminary full-time fall enrolment across Canada: percentage change form 2008

Globe and Mail, October 27, 2009: That's one pricey piece of paper: When your new bundle of joy hits 18, a university education is going to cost big bucks


Book of the Week

Condensed Capitalism: Campbell Soup and the Pursuit of Cheap Production in the Twentieth Century, by Daniel Sidorick. Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press, 2009. 300 p. ISBN 978-0-8014-4726-6 (hbk.)

The first in-depth history of the Campbell Soup Company and its workers, Condensed Capitalism is also a broader exploration of strategies that companies have used to keep costs down besides relocating to cheap labor havens: lean production, flexible labor sourcing, and uncompromising antiunionism. Daniel Sidorick's study of a classic firm that used these methods for over a century has, therefore, special relevance in current debates about capital mobility and the shifting powers of capital and labor.

About the Author: Daniel Sidorick is Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Temple University.


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, October 26, 2009